Women with breast cancer who control their weight and eat enough fruit and vegetables may live longer after their diagnosis than those who are not as health conscious, researchers from Duke University in North Carolina report. Current evidence suggests that breast cancer patients would benefit from eating healthy and getting enough exercise.
The scientists reviewed scientific papers on nutrition and breast cancer published between 1985 and February 2002. In regard to body weight, most studies found that breast cancer patients who are either overweight or obese survived for less time than slimmer patients. Women can also gain weight as a result of cancer treatment, which some studies noted can reduce patients' quality of life and the amount of time they live without cancer, or may increase their risk of other conditions.
Studies examining the link between fruit and vegetable intake and breast cancer prognosis found these foods to have somewhat of a protective effect, although the strength of the association is modest.
Previous research has suggested that drinking alcohol can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. However, the researchers found that most studies found no link between alcohol consumption and survival from breast cancer. Although alcohol may help initiate cancer, it may not influence the cancer's progression.
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